But with a year of eligibility left last January, the former All-State punter at Roswell High School decided to give things one final go as a walk-on at Ole Miss. Broadway contacted first-year head coach Hugh Freeze about a possible tryout in the spring and eventually made the roster heading into fall camp.
Just hoping to push three-year starter Tyler Campbell heading into the season, Freeze named Broadway the starter heading into the Rebels season-opening game — a job Broadway took a stranglehold of and wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of his final collegiate season.
“What an awesome year it has been for me,” said Broadway, who graduated from Roswell in 2008 after helping the Hornets to back-to-back 10 wins seasons and a 2006 state championship. “Nobody wants to be the guy that transfers and then never gets back to the field again, so to see this whole thing through has been amazing.”
Never seeing the field again was almost a reality for Broadway when he began working out at the start of last year, but the strong-legged kicker said finding his rhythm again was like “riding a bike”.
“At the time I wasn’t sure if I could find it again and didn’t know what I had left in the tank, but [punting] is such a timing thing that once I got the fundamentals down again everything came back to me.”
The strong core of fundamentals — much of which he learned from his father Jim Broadway Sr., a punter himself on the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs National Championship team — helped Jim Jr. to one of the best punting seasons in the Southeastern Conference this year.
Punting 54 times this regular season Broadway averaged 41.4 yards per kick, booted 10 kicks over 50 yards, had a season long punt of 61 yards and placed 13 kicks inside the 20-yardline. His play helped Ole Miss to a 7-6 record, a win over archrival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl and their first postseason bowl bid since 2009.
“Just an awesome year all around for me and my family to go through. Playing here at Ole Miss and in the SEC exceeded all of my expectations and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish everything out.”
On top of finishing his degree in finance, Broadway said he plans to give professional football a run in the coming months.